By Nivedita Singh
New Delhi, Feb 5 (IANS) After having a rough tenure with the BJP at the Centre, the AAP again aims to reach out to the saffron party as close to half of its manifesto promises cannot be fulfilled without the Centre’s support.
From the total 28 point manifesto released on Tuesday, 12 announcements will need the cooperation and coordination from the Centre to be implemented fully.
In nine of its announcements, the AAP said it will put “pressure” on the Centre or “pursue” it.
While the manifesto does not spell it out, another three of its promises will require the Centre’s cooperation for completion.
While the Jan Lokpal Bill, Swaraj Bill and the demand for a full statehood have made it back to the manifesto, the party have also said that it will develop Yamuna riverside with Centre’s help and will put “pressure” on the government to stop sealing drives in the city.
While the Jan Lokpal Bill, passed by the Delhi Assembly in 2015 is still pending with the Centre, the Swaraj Bill was rejected by the Lt. Governor.
“AAP resolves to continue its struggle to get the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill passed by the Central government… We will pursue with the Centre to bring in a strong Delhi Swaraj Bill that will formalise the roles and responsibilities of Mohalla Sabhas and ensure adequate funds and functions in the hands of the community,” the manifesto said.
The demand for full statehood for Delhi will also need Centre’s help as it will require a Constitutional amendment.
AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal, while releasing the manifesto on Tuedsay, had said that it has been created keeping in mind the idea of a progressive capital.
“We cannot do it alone, we need participation and support from the people, from the Centre, and all the agencies in creating a Delhi of our dreams.”
However, in the last five years, the clash between the Centre and the AAP government was known to all and have even brought the administration to deadlock after Kejriwal along with his three Cabinet Ministers went for a sit-in at the Raj Niwas for the LG’s approval on a file for 10 days.
The situation improved after the July 4, 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court which restored the powers with the city government.
The manifesto also talks about protection from sealing.
“We will continue to take all legal and administrative measures to put pressure on the Central government, DDA, and MCD to not allow sealing of industries or shops and ensure that the sealed shops are opened.”
The AAP said along with reviving the Yamuna river, it will work together with the Central government to develop a beautiful riverside along its banks.
“This will play a big role in maintaining the Yamuna Eco-System and in creating a new tourist destination for Delhi.”
The AAP has said that it will pursue the Central government to ensure full ownership rights with freehold status for residents of resettlement colonies.
It also said that the “Central government has still not regularised and changed the land-use of unauthorised colonies. AAP will continue to put pressure on the Central government to ensure all of Delhi’s unauthorised colonies get regularized and homeowners get proper registries for their houses”.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party also said it will simplify the criteria for the OBC Certificate.
“The current requirement of having an address proof of Delhi from or before 1993 for being eligible for an OBC certificate is retrograde. We will pursue the Central government to replace this with the requirement of an address proof in Delhi for the past five years.”
Another promise which will need Centre’s support will be giving language status to Bhojpuri.
“We shall pursue with Central government for Bhojpuri language to be included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.”
The AAP will also pursue the Central government to amend Sections 33 and 81 of the Delhi Land Reform Act to remove the “unjust restrictions on farmers’ rights on their land and so that they can use it as per their wishes”.
AAP, in the manifesto, has promised to give world’s largest metro network to the city, without mentioning the Centre’s role in it.
The Centre and Delhi governments are equal owners of the DMRC and any decision on extension will require both to be on the same page.
“We will extend Delhi’s metro network to 500 km making it one of the world’s largest metro networks and will connect several new areas such as Burari, Kirari, Bijwasan, Narela, Karawal Nagar, Mangolpuri and others,” the manifesto said.
Also, the AAP promised for round-the-clock markets in the city on pilot basis and while the Centre may not have any role in it, the AAP government will require close coordination and a working relationship with the police, which comes under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Apart from these 12 promises, the AAP has also promised the doorstep delivery of ration, which was also stalled by the Delhi LG. However, a party leader confirmed that the party has all the approval for it now and will be able to implement it in the first year and Centre does not have any role in this now.
Delhi is going for polls on February 8.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])